Duke Energy Added Over 300 MW Of North Carolina Solar In 2015


Duke Energy says 2015 marked a banner year for solar power in North Carolina, as its companies set a record for the amount of solar energy they added in the state – more than 300 MW.

In its regulated service territory, Duke Energy committed $500 million for a major expansion of solar power in North Carolina. Last year, the company constructed and now owns four utility-scale solar projects totaling 141 MW and is buying 150 MW of solar power from other developers. The 141 MW represents about 25% of the total installed solar capacity in Duke Energy’s North Carolina service territory in 2015.

The company-owned sites are in Bladen, Duplin, Wilson and Onslow counties. At the Onslow County site, the 13 MW Camp Lejeune Solar Facility is the company’s first solar project located at a military base.

“Solar is helping to modernize our generation mix and better serve our customers’ needs,” says Rob Caldwell, senior vice president of distributed energy resources. “We plan to continue the momentum; we’ve already announced we will build an additional 75 MW in 2016.”

Also in North Carolina, Google was the first customer to announce participation in Duke Energy’s Green Source Rider, a program that gives customers the option to purchase renewable energy to offset new energy consumption. Duke Energy will buy the power from a 61 MW solar project, owned by Rutherford Farms LLC, for Google’s expanded data center in Caldwell County.

Duke Energy Renewables, a commercial business unit of Duke Energy, built eight solar projects in North Carolina last year, totaling more than 160 MW and representing an investment of nearly $400 million. This included the 80 MW Conetoe facility and a 5 MW project in Tarboro, which was completed on Dec. 31.

“With these projects, Duke Energy Renewables more than doubled its solar capacity in the state last year,” says Greg Wolf, president of Duke Energy Commercial Portfolio. “We’re proud to partner with communities throughout eastern North Carolina to bring competitively priced solar energy and economic development to the region.”

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